If you are in the middle of a divorce that involves minor children, you and your soon-to-be-former spouse will have to agree on a custody agreement that works for both parties. When developing an order for child visitation and custody, you will need to create a mutually beneficial custody agreement that will serve the best interests of the child.
While you and your ex-spouse can develop a custody agreement on your work, you may need the help of a Lampasas child custody lawyer to agree upon an agreement that works for you and the other parent. A knowledgeable attorney will help you and your former spouse iron out a custody arrangement without going to court.
What Are the Custody Arrangements to Choose From?
With an increasing number of divorced parents sharing joint custody of their children, the importance of having several custody arrangements to choose from cannot be overstated. There are many types of custody agreements that may fit your needs and circumstances if you are a divorced parent sharing custody with your former spouse.
Alternating weeks. This is one of the most popular custody arrangements for parents sharing equal custody of their kids. As its name implies, children spend one week with one parent and then one week with the other.
2-2-3. When following this custody arrangement, children spend two days with one parent and then the next two days with the other. Then, the first parent has the kids for three days. The next week, the second parent ends up with three days.
2-2-5-5. With this custody arrangement, no parent has the kids for longer than 5 days, which allows the children to spend equal time with both parents. With the 2-2-5-5 schedule, the kids spend two days with one parent and two days with the other, then five days with the first parent and five days with the second.
3-4-4-3. When following the 3-4-4-3 custody arrangement, one parent has three days, and the other parent has four days the first week. The next week, the second parent has kids for three days, and the first parent spends four days with the kids. The parents keep alternating the three and four days.
If none of these custody arrangements work for you and your former spouse, you need the assistance of an experienced child custody lawyer to help you develop a customized custody agreement that fits the needs of both parents and your children.
Things to Consider When Creating a Custody Agreement That Works for Both Parents
If you and your former spouse are trying to find the custody arrangement that would work best for both of you, it is essential to consider a number of things, including:
Your child’s schedule. Often, divorced parents tend to forget that they also need to consider their child’s schedule when creating a custody arrangement. While your child may not have a job, they may still have a lot of things on their schedule, including homework, extracurricular activities, and time with their friends, among other activities.
Opt for fewer exchanges whenever possible. Generally, it is a good idea to minimize the number of exchanges to make the custody arrangement less stressful for the children and help them get a sense of stability in each parent’s household.
Your child’s preference. If your child is mature and intelligent enough, it may make sense to ask your child’s preference regarding the custody arrangement. It is vital to consider your child’s wishes.
Cooperation. Effective co-parenting depends on the parents’ willingness to cooperate and compromise. Be cooperative rather than combative when it comes to changes to a custody arrangement. Unexpected things can and will happen, so it is essential to be prepared for anything.
Do not be afraid to be creative. Many divorced parents think that they have to choose from the custody arrangements that were previously established by other families. However, you can feel free to use your creativity to create a customized agreement that would fit your unique situation. You need to develop an agreement that would be acceptable and “doable” for both parents.
Contact a knowledgeable child custody lawyer to help you develop an effective custody agreement that works best for everyone.
Things to Include in a Custody Agreement
It is essential to develop a comprehensive custody agreement that addresses all possible issues that may arise between co-parents. Your custody agreement should include the following provisions to avoid disputes in the long run.
Who will arrange or pay for transportation for visits
How and where the parents will exchange the kids
The non-disparagement clause, which prohibits the parents from saying negative things about one another in front of the kids
The right of first refusal, which means a parent must give the other parent a chance to care for the children before allowing a third party to do so
How a parent will communicate with the kids when it is the other parent’s time to have the children
Your custody agreement should contain these and many other provisions to leave less room for interpretation and minimize the risk of conflict over the custody agreement in the future. If your circumstances change in the future, you may be able to modify the existing agreement to make the necessary changes.
Contact a Lampasas Child Custody Lawyer
It is advisable to seek the legal counsel of a child custody lawyer to make sure that you develop a custody agreement that works well for you and your former spouse. Our family lawyers at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard are prepared to help you write a custody agreement from scratch or modify an existing agreement without going to court.Reaching a mutual agreement with your ex-spouse may require a skilled negotiator on your side who can help you draft an agreement that takes into account each party’s wishes and needs. Schedule a free case review with our attorneys at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard to determine what custody arrangement would be best for your particular situation. Call (254) 220-4225